The Toronto Raptors were in control for most of this game, but the Phoenix Suns didn't let them take care of business all that easily.
The Raptors led by as much as 26 points but the Suns were able to cut all the way down to just seven points in the fourth quarter before Toronto held off Phoenix to close out a win. All-Star forward Pascal Siakam was on another level in this one, going for a monster double-double of 37 points and 12 assists to help carry Toronto to victory.
For more on this contest, we had you covered with some thoughts below:
1. Serge Iblocka gets the best of Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kelly Oubre Jr. has thrown down a couple of insane poster dunks this season and he wanted to make Serge Ibaka his next victim. Ibaka didn't like that idea.
Tsunami warning ignored pic.twitter.com/0to8g0tqyA- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 22, 2020
2. All-Star Siakam shines
Fresh off of his first All-Star Game - and All-Star start - Pascal Siakam proved exactly why he earned that honour. From tip-off to final buzzer, Siakam was the best player on the floor without a doubt.
The Raptors built a huge 24-point halftime lead and that was mostly in-part to Siakam's 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field with 5 3-pointers. He continued that strong play in the second half, coming up with a few huge buckets down the stretch to fight off a Suns comeback.
Siakam would finish the contest with a huge stat line of 37 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks shooting 12-for-19 from the field, 5-for-9 from 3 and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
His numbers put him in elite company in Raptors franchise history.
Players with multiple games of 35+ PTS, 10+ REB, 3+ BLK in Raptors franchise history:- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 22, 2020
Chris Bosh - 2
Pascal Siakam - 2 (including tonight) pic.twitter.com/K4lHVKLOpf
3. Terence Davis picking up where he left off
Terence Davis really began to hit his stride during the Raptors 15-game win streak prior to the All-Star break, but the rookie was still snubbed from the Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend. He clearly didn't let that get to him too much, picking up right where he left off from the moment he checked into this game.
Davis immediately scored 11 points to help give his team a boost to build an early lead. He only scored three more points the rest of the way, but in typical TD3 fashion, provided the Raptors with great energy on both ends of the floor. Davis finished with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
So are we https://t.co/cLbedxdNTW pic.twitter.com/PYdKPbgl0M- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 22, 2020
4. Playing through foul trouble
The Raptors are already short-handed enough with key players like Marc Gasol and Norman Powell out of the lineup. Tonight, head coach Nick Nurse was forced to give his bench even more minutes than usual due to foul trouble.
Serge Ibaka picked up four fouls in the third quarter alone, sending him to the bench for an extended period of time. Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Chris Boucher all entered the fourth quarter with three fouls and with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson playing up a position in place of Ibaka, he picked up three quick fouls in the final frame.
Even with all the foul trouble, the Raptors were able to utilize their depth to prevail and earn a hard-fought win.
5. Suns didn't let the Raptors escape easily
Toronto handled Phoenix for the greater majority of the game, but the Suns didn't go down without a fight.
The Raptors led by as much as 26 points late in the third quarter win Phoenix made their run. The Suns closed the third on a 10-0 run to come within a much more manageable 15-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter. They then rattled off the first five points of the final frame, getting the Raptors lead down to just 10 points, forcing head coach Nick Nurse to take a timeout.
Even after the timeout, Phoenix kept chipping away, extending their run to 22-3 from the end of the third quarter through the eight-minute mark of the fourth quarter to bring the score within eight points.
They were able to cut the deficit as close as seven points, but the Raptors held on to put away the Suns' fiesty comeback.
6. Drake on the broadcast: Pure gold
It was Drake Night at Scotiabank Arena to go with the "Welcome Toronto" OVO edition jerseys and court. To add to the festivities, the team's Global Ambassador Drake made an appearance on the TSN broadcast and it was a joy to listen to. Between showing love to the "TD3 Show" and Fred VanVleet's "Turks and Caicos tan", Drake was having himself a time on the sidelines.
🗣️ FREDERICOOO pic.twitter.com/9dP8gC0mwT- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 22, 2020
7. What's next for the Raptors?
With the win, the Raptors advance to a strong 41-15 on the season. They remain in second place in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games ahead of the Boston Celtics. Toronto has Saturday off before hosting the Indiana Pacers at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday.
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